ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:56 pm
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In my opinion, Infinite Dungeon style rogue-likes are, when done right, much better than those that offer a campaign (which didn't stop me from putting 1000h+ in the Maj'Eyal campaign).
However, I really feel like Infinite Dungeon is severely lacking when compared with how other RLs do theirs. (Even after the changes in 1.5, which are definitely a step in the right direction).


First, I want to list the main advantages and disadvantages an Infinite Dungeon has in comparison to a campaign:
+ No annoying overworld, which means much less downtime
+ Less repetitiveness compared to previous runs
+ No end (though I would like a "win" condition so that Infinite Dungeon characters are not doomed to not be a winner)
- Fewer strategies to (ab)use
- Certain builds are extremely RNG-dependent


Now, why do I not like ToME's current ID?
- You frequently get one-shot by mages around lvl 1-4
- Starting and surviving in the ID is nigh-on impossible for a lot of classes that lack in early strength (much more difficult early game in comparison to Maj'Eyal)
- Your power increases slower while the general difficulty rises faster (both in comparison to Maj'Eyal)
- Extreme dependence on Light/Infravision (every floor in ID VS. some lvls in Maj'Eyal)
- Success of runs feels more RNG-dependent in general
- A run become repetitive really quickly
- Lack in variety of layouts and enemies


As you should notice, almost all of my main complaints have got to do with the difficulty and some (like the lack of variety) are being addressed in 1.5 (though not enough IMO).

So, what would I suggest to fix these issues? Two things:
1: Make the floor "semi-randomly" generated
2: Add an overworld (yes, I know I just wrote that the lack of which is an upside)


Let me explain in more detail what I mean with these two points before I talk about why I think they are a good idea:
"1: Make the floor "semi-randomly" generated"
To fight off the lack in variety on both accounts, you could expand the now added idea that there are two areas to choose for your next floor.
I played a little of NetHack, so I'll use that as a comparison: Think of how you've got the main dungeon and some smaller dungeons that are accessible through the main ID.
Maybe make it so you can choose between different paths every few levels (I'd love to see modifiers, good and bad, that affect that area. For example: the area is underwater!; enemies deal an additional damage as fire; better loot; more EXP). These choices in the type of area should also have much more of an impact on the enemies and the terrain than the system that is currently in place (which feels more like a change in tiles and nothing else).

"2: Add an overworld (yes, I know I just wrote that the lack of which is an upside)"
Add an overworld with a few cities (like Maj'Eyal's Last Hope, Zigur and Anglowen) to give characters a guaranteed way of acquiring some equipment, inscriptions and skill-trees. Also add some side dungeons (kind of like the Golem Graveyard, the Hidden Compound and Lake of Nur) to help out when you get stuck in the ID and give guaranteed rewards at certain power-levels.
Of course, this would mean that you'd need some way of backtracking or exiting the ID. I personally never liked, that you cannot go to previous floors in the ID as it is. But if you really wanted to keep that system, you could add something like a checkpoint every 5 or 10 floors, which will allow you to go to the overworld once before going deeper into the ID.


These two changes would fight off pretty much all my personal issues in two different ways, though there is some interlapping:
The first would make every couple of floors feel very different from each other while also implementing a bunch of strategic choices. Since you could make it so the first area is very similar to Norgo's Lair, this would also fix the OP mage spawns that plague ID runs right now.

The second would fix some early-game issues, like not starting with bought loot, and pretty much all the RNG-dependence. It would also fix the issue that arises when you get some bad luck on your enemy rolls and pretty much cannot continue your run (just like you sometimes have to abandon a dungeon in Maj'Eyal and return later).

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:13 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:05 pm
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add drowning to the ID

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<Sheila> and ster, i do agree with you on most things game-related, but do try to not be such an ass!
<mex> your posts lead to people like me being abused and murdered


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:15 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:56 pm
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ster wrote:
add drowning to the ID

Better idea: remove drowning from the game entirely

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:05 pm
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San0ix wrote:
ster wrote:
add drowning to the ID

Better idea: remove drowning from the game entirely

drowning is the lesser of two evils currently and will be until a better solution is made

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<Shibari> You're full of shit
<darkgod #tome> ster is a troll
<Sheila> and ster, i do agree with you on most things game-related, but do try to not be such an ass!
<mex> your posts lead to people like me being abused and murdered


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:34 pm 
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Wyrmic

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ster wrote:
San0ix wrote:
ster wrote:
add drowning to the ID

Better idea: remove drowning from the game entirely

drowning is the lesser of two evils currently and will be until a better solution is made

Lesser evil to what? Sucking and not being able to play the game without it?
Drowning is a terrible, not fun, unfair and annoying exploit. But this topic isn't about drowning.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:45 pm 
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Spiderkin

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guess what else is unfair and annoying to get through? t1s when you're underequipped! you seem to be thinking that drowning breaks balance when it -is- the balance and you'll never find anything that will carry you further than old forest anyway unless you're a celestial class.

unironically though ID should probably have something to make early game not awful, like drowning does (trying to kill things in vaults with T1 weapons is awful). maybe even some kind of embark system where you can buy what you want out of a large set before starting...

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<Shibari> You're full of shit
<darkgod #tome> ster is a troll
<Sheila> and ster, i do agree with you on most things game-related, but do try to not be such an ass!
<mex> your posts lead to people like me being abused and murdered


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:56 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:56 pm
Posts: 204
ster wrote:
guess what else is unfair and annoying to get through? t1s when you're underequipped! you seem to be thinking that drowning breaks balance when it -is- the balance and you'll never find anything that will carry you further than old forest anyway unless you're a celestial class.

Weird, that's not an issue for me on any difficulty but Madness. Have you tried updating to the newest version, in which you start with money so you are not unequipped at higher difficulties?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:02 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:32 pm
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San0ix wrote:
Better idea: remove drowning from the game entirely
Lesser evil to what? Sucking and not being able to play the game without it?
Drowning is a terrible, not fun, unfair and annoying exploit. But this topic isn't about drowning.


Eh, drowning is needed to make insane+ starts not be awful and to not be randomly one shot because a rare spawned with chronomancy skills/other skills with instant travel time.

Also it sounds like you both want the same thing, just for different modes; something to streamline the beginning of the game to remove the possibility of rng making it impossible to survive early on.

One thing I suggested in the past is to have a sort of 'draft' system for equipment, where you would have ten different sets of items and you are able to pick one item out of each set (numbers can be adjusted as need be), with it being weighted to at least have a randart/unique or two as some of the choices in them.

An idea like this could be fiddled with initially for ID and then expanded to the main campaign, either having a lesser system in place for lower difficulties, or only having it kick in for higher ones. Though making a system like this for only one set of difficulties that aren't used by the majority would be kind of a waste.

I'd go on, but I've made my point and I don't want to hijack the thread with my own ideas any more than I have already.


Summary: Drowning is a necessary evil for higher difficulties and gives the basis for an idea on how to make ID a little better + the main campaign as a whole.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:22 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:14 pm
Posts: 53
Haven't tried 1.5 ID yet but I played a lot of ID on previous versions so I'm very interested in this.

I like idea #1 (level flavors), it's used in Our Darker Purpose and even though the game isn't a "real" roguelike, it works pretty well there. Providing options to players with no drawback is usually good. However I think idea #2 (overworld for the ID) will pretty much just make the ID into a bad clone of the Maj'Eyal campaign (and also break the main appeal of the ID, which is supposed to be a "Hack" variant where the Maj'Eyal campaign is a "Band"), while also being kinda lore-unfriendly.

What could be interesting is adding shop rooms to the ID (I think the Infinite500 addon does that? And tinker class can find those merchant robots in the ID as well). Simply giving every class, and not just tinkers, access to merchbots in the ID, would probably work well. And having the player start in a closed shop room providing tier 3 gear and infusions might give them a better start in Insane. Even if DarkGod doesn't want to add shops, I strongly suggest having the player start in a closed room with no enemies just to give them time to set up the character. I'm absolutely sick of having my adventurers killed by geomancers or lolcats while I equip my gear and setup my sustains.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:44 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:46 pm
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Actually, you can find the embers shop bots in infinite dungeon. Unfortunatlely though if you're not a tinker class, any of them that sell tinker items will have nothing for sale.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:16 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:56 pm
Posts: 204
Number43 wrote:
Actually, you can find the embers shop bots in infinite dungeon. Unfortunatlely though if you're not a tinker class, any of them that sell tinker items will have nothing for sale.

Well, that's not the case if you disable embers of rage (like I did).

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:41 pm 
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I agree with shops, but not an overworld. Shop rooms, or just better randomly spawning shop npcs (the current shop-bots are kinda weak). And a sealed starter room on level 1 with shops sounds great to me.

There's also an idea I'd like to put forward: somewhere around level 10-20, getting to pick a ID-exclusive potion. The martial one, or the antimagic one, or new ones (tinker and celestial/light some to mind). In particular, some of my characters have been really hurting from a lack of thick skin and armor proficiency. If that seems like a bad idea, I'd still like to see new skill potions. They could also be challenge rewards.

On that note, when items are challenge rewards, I'd like to be able to pick one of three or something. So very often they're so very useless (and they will probably still be even if able to pick one of three, but it would be better at least).

And I'll concur that difficulty could use work. I'm hesitant to say more, as I've had a very difficult time wrapping my head around roguelikes in general, but comparing to the normal campaign the difficulty is all over the place, and in general noticeably higher. There are difficulty levels for that.

That said, I've been enjoying it.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:46 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:14 pm
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I've been playing a few characters in 1.5 ID and I have mixed feelings about it. Some changes were good, some were not, but overall I think I find the ID less fun and more tedious as it is now :/

Let's start with the good: the random "quests" are fun (though I would have liked to know what the rewards would have been beforehand, since it's kinda annoying to go all-out for that Rush Hour just to be be awarded a crappy pink that doesn't suit your character), the zone-wide auras can be useful or challenging (but most of the time they won't change much) and I like the possibility of having two exits (and two randbosses to guard them, since it means twice the randarts). Sadly the exit type will only inform you about the tileset the next level will use, not about its layout, so that feature is not very useful apart from the bonus randarts it brings.

These alternative level layouts are, IMO, more of a pain than a source of diversity. They work in the campaigns because you only see them once or twice but in the ID you can see them dozens of successive times, which actually makes them monotonous instead of a welcome change. Some of them are also just not fun at all (the one that's more or less based on the Searing Halls, with hundreds of square rooms and half a million doors everywhere, is an absolute nightmare since it takes forever to autoexplore - forever and an eternity if a vault spawns there - as resting and opening all those doors takes an absurdly long time, and that's with the addon which is supposed to speed up resting). It takes away the feel the ID had and make it more like an Infinite Farportal or something like that - and farportals aren't much fun.

Also how do you explain going from a brick dungeon into a forest into a flooded temple that's not actually flooded into a sandworm lair from a lore point of view?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:28 pm 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
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Mel wrote:
Also how do you explain going from a brick dungeon into a forest into a flooded temple that's not actually flooded into a sandworm lair from a lore point of view?

Easy.
The fleeing god is trying to confused pursuers.
Done. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:41 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:05 pm
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Mel wrote:
These alternative level layouts are, IMO, more of a pain than a source of diversity. They work in the campaigns because you only see them once or twice but in the ID you can see them dozens of successive times, which actually makes them monotonous instead of a welcome change. Some of them are also just not fun at all (the one that's more or less based on the Searing Halls, with hundreds of square rooms and half a million doors everywhere, is an absolute nightmare since it takes forever to autoexplore - forever and an eternity if a vault spawns there - as resting and opening all those doors takes an absurdly long time, and that's with the addon which is supposed to speed up resting). It takes away the feel the ID had and make it more like an Infinite Farportal or something like that - and farportals aren't much fun.

Ok how is the current ID feel worse than Infinite Dreadfell Hell

Going from one level gen template to 20+ is a huge boost in variety

That said ID isnt reasonably playable until early game gets fixed

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<Shibari> You're full of shit
<darkgod #tome> ster is a troll
<Sheila> and ster, i do agree with you on most things game-related, but do try to not be such an ass!
<mex> your posts lead to people like me being abused and murdered


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